Our veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering dogs and cats as early as six to eight months old to ensure optimal health. At this age, puppies and kittens will have had their first exams and final vaccinations and are on their way to adulthood. In cases of certain large breeds, however, it may be best to wait until your pet is twelve months of age or older to undergo their spay/neuter procedure in Caldwell, NJ. All patients receive a customized pain management plan to facilitate the recovery process, and we’ll answer any questions you have about the surgery, its benefits, and what you can do to make your pet’s recovery at home more comfortable.
Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering
Spay and neuter procedures have a number of health and wellness benefits that affect both pets and pet parents, including the elimination of heat cycles, alleviated behavioral issues, and risk reduction for certain diseases.
Female dogs and cats begin their first heat cycle around six to eight months of age. During their cycle, they will likely become uncomfortable, and may yowl or urinate inappropriately to convey their discomfort and attract attention. During a routine spay procedure, also known as an ovariohysterectomy, the veterinarian will surgically remove the female reproductive organs, which will eliminate future heat cycles.
As male dogs and cats age, oftentimes they begin to exhibit unwanted behaviors. The routine neuter procedure, or orchiectomy, is the removal of the testicles. The nature of this procedure will cause an effect on the pet’s hormones, therefore reducing natural aggressive, destructive, and territorial behaviors, such as spraying, mounting, and roaming.
There are millions of dogs and cats housed in shelters and a large number of these animals are euthanized due to overcrowding. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are taking action against contributing to the overpopulation of animals and animal homelessness.
In addition to changes in behavior and comfort, spay/neuter procedures can also have a significant impact on your pet’s overall health. Studies have shown that pets that are “fixed” generally live longer than those who are not. In females, spaying can prevent pyometra, uterine infections, and mammary cancer. In males, neutering prevents the enlargement and infection of the prostate gland and is also the curative treatment for testicular cancer.